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10:01 by Lance Olsen

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10:01 by Lance Olsen


10:01 by Lance Olsen

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You're sitting in a darkened theater, waiting for the movie to begin when American culture explodes all around in I-Max, Sensurround, Technicolor—this is the experience of reading Lance Olsen's brilliant 10:01, a novel in frames that unreels the random thoughts of a random movie audience: a screening of our own moment that Olsen lights with the white heat of a a projector beam.


Lance Olsen is a writer whose technical ingenuity is matched only by his fertility of invention and compassion for his characters. His novel 10:01illustrates all these qualities beautifully.
—Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's


Walter Benjamin envisioned the underground Paris Arcades as the quintessential 19th century industrial dream space. In 10:01 Lance Olsen provides us with the Millennial version: the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota, "large enough to contain seven Yankee Stadiums." Each page headlines a different character or set of characters randomly flung together in a movie theater there in mid-afternoon. They interface (often freakishly) with each other; with the Mall's blandishments; with the images on the screen; with their own fantasies. At the climax the theater and its inhabitants suddenly implode, perhaps out of the ultimate logic of late industrial capitalism. Or they don't implode but are sucked irresistibly into the black hole of American make-believe. Olsen has written a cunningly original docufiction of the American psyche post-9/11 and perennial.
Hal Jaffe


Lance Olsen is author of many books of and about innovative fiction. His stories and essays have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, Black Warrior Review, Hotel Amerika, Denver Quarterly, and Best American Non-Required Reading. An N.E.A. Fellowship and Pushcart Prize recipient, he teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.